Washington County Commission briefs

January 26, 2011

Bike race overtime approved

The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to fund up to $2,500 in overtime for Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies during a three-day "Tour of Washington County" bicycling event in June.

The race, sponsored by the Antietam Velo Club, is scheduled to begin the evening of June 17 in downtown Hagerstown, will continue with a road race in Smithsburg on June 18 and races in Boonsboro and Williamsport on June 19, according to a grant fund application from the club.

Money for the overtime will come from the county's hotel-motel tax fund, which is supported by lodging taxes and is set aside to support tourism, economic development, and cultural and recreational projects, County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said.

The county has $312,598 available in that fund, Murray said.

More than 350 riders are expected to participate in the Tour of Washington County along with support crews, family members and friends, the application said. The event is designed to encourage riders to spend at least two nights in Hagerstown, it said.

This will be the event's fourth year.

School budget adjusted

The Washington County Commissioners Tuesday approved adjustments to the Washington County Board of Education budget based on actual revenue and expenditures during the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

The previous board of commissioners failed to approve those adjustments the first time they came before the commissioners in November because then-Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire had concerns about admissions practices at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

One of the budget adjustments was reflected in higher-than-budgeted revenue due to enrolling more out-of-county and out-of-state students this year than anticipated, with a majority of those students attending the Barbara Ingram school, Chris South, the school system's chief financial officer, said in November.

David Brandenburg, the school system's director of accounting, told the commissioners Tuesday that no in-county students are losing seats at Barbara Ingram to out-of-county students. Rather, those out-of-county students are being accepted to fill unique needs such as male ballet dancers or oboe players, Brandenburg said.

The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, which opened in 2009, is a public arts-magnet school that offers high school students college preparatory courses in academics and the arts. Students must apply and audition or submit a portfolio for the opportunity to attend the school based on their talent in music, theater, dance or visual arts.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the budget adjustments.

County to staff school gym

The Washington County Commissioners Tuesday approved a letter of agreement with the Washington County Board of Education authorizing the county recreation department to staff and maintain the gymnasium at the Ruth Ann Monroe Primary School for after-hours activities.

Assistant County Attorney Andrew Wilkinson told the commissioners that use of state Program Open Space funds to enhance the gyms at all new schools require public use of the facilities during non-school hours.

The county recreation department provides operational support for the facilities.

— Heather Keels

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